Life in Maine, where Stephen King has spent most of his adult years, requires long drives down country roads, time that King, whose mind is restless, likes to fill by listening to books on tape. In the ’80s, however, he sometimes could not find the books he wanted on tape — or maybe he just did not bother. He had three children: Naomi, Joe and Owen. They could read, couldn’t they? All King had to do was press record. Which is how his school-age children came to furnish their father, over the years, with a small library’s worth of books on tape.
On a drizzly morning in July, King, his wife and their children gathered in Maine for a reunion the week of the Fourth and compared notes on what constituted chores in the King household. As they talked, they were crowded around a rather small kitchen table in a lakeside guesthouse, where King’s 41-year-old son, Joe Hill, was staying, a short drive from the family’s summer home.
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